Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a sweeping ban on single-use plastics in the country by 2021.
The ban includes plastic bags, plates, straws, cutlery, and a wealth of other single-use plastics in one of the most ambitious steps to reduce plastic use and its harmful effects on the environment due to its difficulty to recycle.
“I am very pleased to announce," Trudeau said, "that as early as 2021, Canada will ban harmful, single-use plastics from coast to coast.”
Trudeau said of the ban:
“To be honest as a dad it is tough trying to explain to my kids. How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches across the world, their stomachs jam packed with plastic bags? How do I tell them that against all odds, you will find plastic at the very deepest point of the Pacific Ocean.”
Trudeau's move was met with applause from those concerned with plastic's harmful effects on the environment.
Around 91% of the world's 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic goes unrecycled. With 50 million tons of plastic in the world's oceans, a global movement to ban single-use plastics has emerged over the past decade. The European Parliament recently approved such a ban and—in the United States—California, Hawaii, and New York have passed or taken steps to pass similar bans on certain plastic products.